Masks exacerbate the gap between rich and poor in the United States


With the surge in covid-19 infection, the American public has found that the need for new crown pneumonia is increasing. National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) reported on the 17th that American public health experts urged people to give up using cotton masks, buy N95 masks instead, and increase the number of virus quick screening, but this has increased the economic burden of the American people to a certain extent, making the gap between the rich and the poor more obvious.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines for mask use last week, saying that disposable N95 or kn95 masks can provide the highest level of protection. NBC said that the price of a single disposable N95 mask is about $1, and the price of each group of virus quick screening kit is about $24. Although some people are annoyed by this additional cost, they can still afford it. However, there are still some people with economic difficulties who are difficult to pay for the “highest level of protection”, which highlights that the gap between the rich and the poor in American society will further deepen with the epidemic. According to Harvard sociologist Schneider’s survey of hourly wage workers in the United States, about 75% of respondents said that it was difficult or very difficult to make a living during the epidemic; 40% of the respondents said they were unable to spend $400 urgently in case of emergencies; About 20% of the respondents said that they did not continue to eat three meals because of financial constraints.

Schneider said that hourly workers do not have paid sick leave and have to work when they are sick because they have to make money to support their families. He said that for many workers, it is impossible to spend money on N95 masks and quick screening reagents. They even have difficulty maintaining food and clothing for three meals. It is “really impractical” to hand over the prevention task of avoiding the spread of the epidemic to people with financial difficulties.

NBC said that although the U.S. government announced that people can apply for reimbursement from private insurance companies for buying virus home quick screening kits, many people don’t have time to entangle with insurance companies, and some people don’t have private health insurance at all. Many American workers and experts are disappointed that the federal and state governments are unable to provide people with low-cost or free high-quality masks and quick screening kits.

However, according to the VOA 19 report, the White House announced on the same day that it will provide 400 million N95 masks to the public free of charge to control COVID-19’s spread next weekend. The statement said that the transfer of such bulk masks from the national strategic repository is the largest allocation of personal protective equipment in the history of the United States. In addition, the Biden government also launched a beta website for people to order virus quick screening kits for free on the 18th, and each family can receive four copies.

Now, the price of N95 respirators has generally dropped, and several are even less than $1. The protective effect is very good, which is very suitable for ordinary people.

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